Top Al-Shabaab Leader Killed In Joint Operation

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa.

 

The Somali government announced on Monday a top Al-Shabaab militant, who had a $3.0-million US bounty on his head, had been killed in a joint air strike in southern Somalia.

The drone strike on October 1, launched by the Somali army and international security partners, killed Abdullahi Yare near the coastal town of Haramka, the ministry of information said in a statement dated Sunday but posted online on Monday.

“This leader… was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabab group,” it said.

“He was former head of the Shura council and the group’s director for finances,” the ministry said, referring to a powerful consultation body within Al-Shabaab.

A co-founder of the Al-Qaeda-linked group, Yare was believed to be next in line to take over the leadership of the movement from its ailing chief Ahmed Diriye, according to the ministry.

“His elimination is like a thorn removed from Somalia as a nation,” the ministry said.

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Yare was one of seven leaders named by the United States on its most-wanted list in 2012. Washington offered three million dollars for his capture.

The announcement of the strike comes weeks after Somalia’s recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to stage all-out war on the jihadists, following a string of deadly attacks. They include a 30-hour hotel siege in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed 21 people.

Mohamud last month urged citizens to stay away from areas controlled by Al-Shabaab as he vowed to ratchet up offensives against the militants.

US forces have in the past partnered with African Union soldiers and Somali troops in counterterrorism operations, and have conducted frequent raids and drone strikes on Al-Shabaab training camps throughout Somalia.

Last month, the US military said it had killed 27 jihadist fighters in an air strike near Bulobarde, the main town on the road linking Mogadishu to Beledweyne, a key city on the border with Ethiopia.

It said the air strike was carried out “at the request” of the Somali government.

Al-Shabaab, which espouses a strict version of sharia or Islamic law, has waged a bloody insurrection against the Mogadishu government for 15 years and remains a potent force despite an African Union operation against the group.

Its fighters were ousted from the capital in 2011 but continue to stage attacks on military, government and civilian targets.

The group last week claimed responsibility for a bomb blast that killed a top Somali police officer near the Al-Shabaab-controlled village of Bursa, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Mogadishu.

AFP

Minister, Commissioner Among Nine Killed In Somalia Car Bombings

Somalia Election: Mohamed Abdullahi Emerges As President
Somalia’s flag.

 

Nine people, including senior regional officials, were killed in twin car bombings claimed by Al-Shabaab in central Somalia on Monday, police said, as the government escalates an offensive against the Islamists.

Two cars packed with explosives were detonated minutes apart outside local government offices in Beledweyne, a city at the heart of recent offensives against the Al-Qaeda-linked militants who control swathes of Somalia.

“The initial information we have received confirms the death of nine people” including a state minister and a commissioner, said Mohamed Moalim Ali, a local police commander.

The health minister of Hirshabelle state — where Beledweyne is located — and a deputy district commissioner were among the dead, Ali added, with 10 others injured in the “suicide attacks.”

Somali forces and “international security partners” have been waging an aggressive counterinsurgency in recent weeks, with the government on Monday announcing the killing of Abdullahi Yare, a top Al-Shabaab operative, in a joint air strike on Saturday in the south of the country.

“This leader… was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabaab group,” the ministry of information said.

A co-founder of Al-Shabaab with a $3 million US bounty on his head, Yare was believed to be next in line to take over the leadership of the movement from its ailing chief Ahmed Diriye, according to the ministry.

Somalia’s recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed an all-out war on the jihadists, after a string of deadly attacks, including a 30-hour hotel siege in the capital Mogadishu, that killed 21 people.

Mohamud last month urged citizens to stay away from areas controlled by Al-Shabaab as government forces supported by local clan militias launched offensives in Hiraan region, of which Beledweyne is the capital.

Military officials and clan elders told AFP that local residents had decided to take up arms against the militants, who have been accused of extorting money from them.

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 ‘Huge explosion’ 

Witnesses of Monday’s twin bombings described a smaller blast followed by a massive second explosion.

“The explosion was huge, and it destroyed most buildings” nearby, said Mohamud Addow, who witnessed the attack.

“I saw several people rushed to hospital and some dead bodies… some were unrecognisable.”

The United States, which recently restored a military presence in Somalia to fight the jihadists, condemned the bombings.

The attacks “targeted gov’t officials working to bring peace to the region & healthcare workers tending to the wounded,” the US embassy in Mogadishu said on Twitter.

Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the bombings, has waged a bloody insurrection against the Mogadishu government for 15 years and remains a potent force despite an African Union operation against the group.

Its fighters were ousted from the capital in 2011 but continue to stage attacks on military, government and civilian targets.

The group last week claimed responsibility for a bomb blast that killed a top Somali police officer near the Al-Shabaab-controlled village of Bursa, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Mogadishu.

US forces have in the past partnered with African Union soldiers and Somali troops in counterterrorism operations, and have conducted frequent raids and drone strikes on Al-Shabaab training camps throughout Somalia.

Last month, the US military said it had killed 27 jihadist fighters in an air strike near Bulobarde, the main town on the road linking Mogadishu to Beledweyne.

It said the air strike was carried out “at the request” of the Somali government.

President Joe Biden decided to restore a US military presence in Somalia in May, approving a request from the Pentagon, which deemed his predecessor Donald Trump’s rotation system too risky and ineffective.

AFP

US Admits Killing 12 Civilians Worldwide In 2021

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) welcomes Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 26, 2022. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)

 

The US military killed 12 civilians in 2021, all in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday.

The Department of Defense “assesses that there were approximately 12 civilians killed and approximately five civilians injured during 2021 as a result of US military operations,” said the report, which Congress has required to be produced annually since 2018, and part of which is classified.

All of the civilian deaths occurred in Afghanistan, according to the public part of the report.

The Pentagon has already acknowledged its responsibility for the deaths of 10 members of the same family, including seven children, during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August 2021.


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The public document specifies that a civilian was killed in a US strike on January 8 in Herat, and another on August 11 in Kandahar. Two civilians were also wounded on January 18 in Kandahar.

In addition, the US military admitted having wounded three civilians on January 1 in a strike in Qunyo Barrow, Somalia.

The Pentagon also reassessed its counts from the years 2018 to 2020, recognizing 10 more dead and 18 wounded, all in Syria.

NGOs regularly publish much higher assessments of deaths and injuries from US strikes in conflict zones.

The organization Airwars, which lists the civilian victims of air strikes around the world, estimated in its annual report published in May that between 15 and 27 civilians had been killed in US operations in Syria alone.

In January 2022, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged the military to do more to avoid civilian casualties in airstrikes, after several deadly blunders that tarnished the reputation of the military.

Protecting civilians is a “strategic and moral imperative,” Austin noted in a memo to the military chain of command.

Death Toll In Somalia Hotel Siege Climbs To 21

An ambulance is seen near the site of explosions in Mogadishu, on August 20, 2022. Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Hayat hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, with casualties reported, security sources and witnesses said. (Photo by Hassan Ali ELMI / AFP)

 

The death toll from a devastating 30-hour siege by Al-Shabaab jihadists at a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has climbed to 21, Health Minister Ali Haji Adan said Sunday, as anxious citizens awaited news of missing relatives.

Emergency workers have been trying to clear the debris of a gun and bomb attack by the Al-Qaeda-linked group on the popular Hayat hotel which left parts of the building in ruins, with many feared trapped inside.

“The ministry of health has so far confirmed the deaths of 21 people and 117 people wounded” in the assault that began on Friday evening and lasted over a day, Adan said.

On Sunday morning, the area surrounding the hotel was under tight security, with the roads blocked as emergency workers and bomb disposal experts sought to clear any explosives and remove rubble.

The hotel sustained heavy damage during the gunfight between Somali forces and the insurgents.

Parts of the building collapsed, leaving many people frantically searching for their loved ones who were inside when the attack began.

Police commissioner Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hijar told reporters on Sunday that “106 people including children and women” were rescued during the siege which ended around midnight.

As bullets and flames ripped through the hotel, security forces searched the property to bring civilians to safety, including three young children who hid inside a toilet.

“The casualties mostly happened in the early hours of the attack, after that security forces spent time rescuing people individually and room by room,” Hijar said.

The attack was the biggest in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in June and underscored the challenge of trying to crush the 15-year insurrection by the Islamist group.

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 ‘Tense’ 

A media report in front of a destroyed building after a deadly 30-hour siege by Al-Shabaab jihadists at Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu on August 21, 2022.  (Photo by Hassan Ali ELMI / AFP)

Dozens of people gathered near the road leading up to the hotel on Sunday morning, desperate for news of their family members.

Businessman Muktar Adan told AFP he was waiting for permission to enter the premises and look for his sibling.

“My brother was inside the hotel the last time we heard from him, but his phone is switched off now and we don’t know what to expect,” he said.

Said Nurow, who heard the attack unfold, said he was very worried about his friend who was a guest at the property.

“I hope… (he) is alive, he stayed in the hotel according to the last information we got from his sister,” he told AFP, describing the mood as “tense”.

The hotel was a favoured meeting spot for government officials and scores of people were inside when gunmen stormed the property.

Somalia’s allies, including the United States, Britain, and Turkey, as well as the UN, have strongly condemned the attack. So did ATMIS, the African Union force tasked with helping Somali forces take over primary responsibility for security by the end of 2024.

Earlier this month, Washington announced its forces had killed 13 Al-Shabaab operatives in an air strike, the latest since President Joe Biden ordered the re-establishment of a US troop presence in Somalia, reversing a decision by his predecessor Donald Trump.

‘Audacious Attack’ 

Samira Gaid, executive director of the Hiraal Institute, a Mogadishu-based security think tank, told AFP that the “audacious attack” was a message to the new government and its foreign allies.

“The complex attack is to show that they are still very much present, very relevant and that they can penetrate government security and conduct such attacks,” she said.

Mohamud said last month that ending the jihadist insurrection required more than a military approach, but that his government would negotiate with the group only when the time was right.

According to Gaid, the president later told officials that the government’s “first objective is to fight the group militarily and weaken then before they can go into any negotiations.”

“This attack will trigger a faster strategy and response especially when it comes to engaging the group,” she said.

According to police, the attack began with a blast caused by a suicide bomber who forced his way into the hotel along with gunmen.

Minutes later, a second explosion struck as rescuers, security forces and civilians rushed to help the injured, witnesses said.

Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the hotel siege, has carried out several attacks in Somalia since Mohamud took office, and last month launched strikes on the Ethiopian border.

The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but still, control swathes of countryside and retain the ability to launch deadly strikes, often targeting hotels and restaurants.

The deadliest attack occurred in October 2017 when a truck packed with explosives blew up in Mogadishu, killing 512 people.

AFP

Somalia President Tests Positive For COVID-19

A file photo of a healthcare worker holding a COVID-19 test kit. TARSO SARRAF / AFP

 

 

Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Friday he is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, shortly after returning from a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

“So far, I have no symptoms but I will continue to self-isolate and serve the people of Somalia from home,” he said on Twitter.

“I ask we all keep each other safe by following public health advice and guidelines.”

The 66-year-old president returned Friday from the United Arab Emirates where he had made his first official trip abroad since his election on May 15.

Mohamud is a former academic and peace activist who was previously president from 2012 to 2017 but whose first administration was dogged by claims of corruption and infighting.

The troubled Horn of Africa nation has recorded 26,748 coronavirus cases of which 1,361 have been fatal, according to the World Health Organization.

Buhari Congratulates New Somali President, Promises Peacekeeping Support

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and new Somali President, Hassan Mahmud
A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and new Somali President, Hassan Mahmud

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday congratulated the newly elected Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mahmud, “for successfully staging a comeback after being unseated in 2017.”

According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu, the President said that “the re-election of Hassan Mahmud is a significant indication that the people of Somalia appreciate his efforts to unite and rebuild the country after decades of civil war and terrorist activities.

“President Mahmud’s return to power is a resounding vote of confidence in his ability and leadership skills, which he had demonstrated while he was previously in power, but most importantly signifies that Somalians are committed to a democratic process.”

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President Buhari however noted that “other political parties and leaders in the country should unite and rally round President Mahmud in the difficult task of rebuilding Somalia from the ruins of war and terrorist devastations.”

Additionally, he commended the out-going president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, for his swift acceptance which inevitably will lead to a peaceful transition in the best interest of the people.

President Buhari reassured the new Somali leader that “Nigeria will continue its usual support for peace keeping efforts in Somalia,” adding that “African countries must unite against terrorists and other evil forces seeking to disrupt and destroy our territories.”

Somalia PM Orders Expulsion Of AU Envoy

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa.

 

Somalia’s feuding leaders were locked in a new dispute on Thursday after the prime minister ordered the expulsion of the African Union’s envoy to the troubled country.

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble’s office said it had declared Francisco Madeira persona non grata “for engaging in acts that are incompatible with his status as representative of the African Union Commission” and ordered him to leave Somalia within 48 hours.

The statement posted on Twitter did not elaborate on the reasons for Roble’s decision about Madeira, a Mozambican diplomat who has been the AU Commission chief’s special representative to Somalia since 2015.

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But the office of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, described his rival’s action against Madeira as illegal.

The presidency said on Twitter it “has received no complaints of interference with its sovereignty & doesn’t endorse any illegal action against Amb. Francisco Madeira”.

It said Farmajo has instructed the foreign ministry to apologise to the AU over the “illegitimate and reckless decision from an unauthorised office”.

It is not clear who holds sway over the role of the AU representative in the country.

Last week, the UN Security Council voted unanimously for a new peacekeeping force for the Horn of Africa nation, where Al-Shabaab insurgents have been seeking to overthrow the fragile government for more than a decade.

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) replaces the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which was created by the Security Council in 2007.

Drawn from across Africa, the mission drove Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu in 2011, creating enough stability for government and federal agencies to take shape, and two rounds of elections to be held.

But a bitter power struggle between Farmajo and Roble has hindered efforts to hold long-delayed elections after the expiry of the president’s mandate in February 2021.

AFP

Huge Fire Destroys Somaliland Market

A massive fire tore through the main market in the city of Hargeisa in northern Somalia.

 

 

A massive fire tore through the main market in the city of Hargeisa in northern Somalia overnight, injuring about two dozen people and destroying hundreds of businesses, officials said on Saturday.

Images posted on social media showed flames and huge billowing clouds of smoke in the night sky over the city, the capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland.

The cause of the blaze that gutted the sprawling Waheen market — the lifeblood of the city and home to an estimated 2,000 shops and stalls — is not yet known.

Officials said it started on Friday evening but was largely brought under control by dawn on Saturday, although some small areas were still burning.

“The town has never witnessed such a massive calamity,” Hargeisa’s mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Moge told reporters at the scene.

“This place was the economic centre of Hargeisa and even though the firefighters did their best to contain the fire, the market is destroyed.”

He said the blaze could have been brought under control before causing such extensive damage but that the firefighters’ efforts were hampered by access problems.

The vast market is a crowded warren of shops and makeshift stalls, with no proper streets, only narrow pathways.

Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi said during a visit to Waheen that about 28 people, nine of them women, were injured, but that so far no loss of life had been reported.

He said the government would be releasing one million dollars to help with the emergency response to the disaster.

Hargeisa Chamber of Commerce chairman Jamal Aideed said the loss of the market was immense as it accounted for 40 to 50 percent of the city’s economy.

“I have lost everything tonight, this fire was the biggest I have ever seen in my life,” said market trader Bashi Ali.

“I had several businesses in the market and all of them burned to ashes. All we can learn from this disaster is to plan the market well,” he added.

UN Security Council Votes Unanimously For New Somalia Peacekeeping Force

Somalia Election: Mohamed Abdullahi Emerges As President
Somalia’s flag.

 

The UN Security Council on Thursday voted unanimously for a new African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, where Al-Shabaab insurgents have been seeking to overthrow the fragile government for more than a decade.

The current African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is composed of 20,000 soldiers, police and civilians helping local authorities fight against the jihadist insurgents.

Its mandate was due to expire Thursday, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recommended early this month maintaining the force level until the end of the year.

“The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution… to reconfigure AMISOM,” the UAE, which holds the UNSC presidency, said on Twitter.

“It is now the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).”

The new mission will work to enable Somali forces to take primary responsibility for security.

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Under the resolution approved on Thursday, the UN force reduction will be carried out in four phases until the last peacekeeper withdraws in late 2024.

The Horn of Africa nation has seen a spate of attacks in recent weeks as it hobbles through a long-delayed election process.

Last week twin attacks in central Somalia claimed 48 lives.

Somalia’s key foreign backer, the United States, has imposed travel sanctions on senior political figures for undermining the electoral process.

The lower house election was due to be completed on Thursday, paving the way for lawmakers to pick a president.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s term ended in February 2021 but efforts to hold an election have failed.

The jihadists controlled Mogadishu until 2011 when they were pushed out by AMISOM troops, but still hold territory in the countryside.

At Least 10 Killed As Bus Hits Landmine In Somalia

Somalia Election: Mohamed Abdullahi Emerges As President
Somalia’s flag.

 

At least 10 people were killed and two others wounded on Friday when the bus they were travelling in struck a landmine in Somalia, security officials and residents said.

The victims were heading to the southern port city of Kismayo when an explosion ripped through their vehicle as it hit what was believed to be a landmine, local security official Mohamed Nur Dahir told AFP by phone.

“This was a horrible incident, ten people – all of them innocent civilians — were killed and two others wounded in the explosion which destroyed the minibus they were traveling in,” he said.

“Terrorists plant mines along the road used by civilian transport, and this is not the first time they have done so,” he added.

Many of the victims were taken to Kismayo for treatment, city resident Abdukadir Mohamed Weli told AFP that.

Resident Osman Gelle, who arrived at the scene after the blast, said: “Some of the victims were camel milk sellers from villages” near Kismayo.

Kismayo was a former stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Al-Shabaab, which frequently attacks civilian and government targets in the country.

In December 2020, five people died when the bus they had boarded hit a landmine in southern Somalia.

In September 2020, a suicide bomber killed five Somali soldiers and seriously wounded an American military adviser in a village outside Kismayo.

Al-Shabaab was driven out of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu in 2011 but continues to wage a deadly insurgency against the federal government.

Somalia’s President Suspends PM As Elections Spat Deepens

File photo: Mohamed Hussein Roble

 

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced Monday that he was suspending Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, a day after the two men sparred over long-delayed elections in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

“The president decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and stop his powers since he was linked with corruption,” the office of the president said in a statement, accusing the premier of interfering with an investigation into a land grabbing case.

Relations between the president, better known as Farmajo, and Roble have long been frosty, with the latest development raising fresh fears for Somalia’s stability as it struggles to hold elections.

On Sunday, Roble accused the president of sabotaging the electoral process, after Farmajo withdrew the prime minister’s mandate to organise the elections and called for the creation of a new committee to “correct” the shortcomings.

Roble, who has not responded to Monday’s suspension announcement, said Farmajo did not want to hold “a credible election in this country”.

In April, pro-government and opposition fighters opened fire in the streets of Mogadishu after Farmajo extended his term without holding fresh elections.

The constitutional crisis was only defused when Farmajo reversed the term extension and Roble brokered a timetable to a vote.

But in the months since, a bitter rivalry between the men derailed the election again, straining ties with Western allies long impatient for the process to finish peacefully.

Farmajo and Roble only agreed to bury the hatchet in October and issued a unified call for the glacial election process to accelerate.

Elections for the upper house have concluded in all states and voting for the lower house began in early November.

Analysts say the election impasse has distracted from Somalia’s larger problems, most notably the violent Al-Shabaab insurgency.

The Al-Qaeda allies were driven out of Mogadishu a decade ago but retain control of swathes of countryside and continue to stage deadly attacks in the capital and elsewhere.

AFP

Somalia’s President Suspends PM As Elections Spat Deepens

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (AFP)

 

Somalia’s President announced Monday that he was suspending Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who called the move unconstitutional, intensifying a row over long-delayed elections in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

The announcement came a day after the two men sparred over the country’s sluggish electoral process, with Roble accusing President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is better known as Farmajo, of sabotaging the polls.

Relations between Farmajo and Roble have long been frosty, with the latest development raising fresh fears for Somalia’s stability as it struggles to hold elections and fight a jihadist insurgency.

On Monday, Farmajo’s office said the president had “decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and stop his powers since he was linked with corruption”, accusing him of interfering with an investigation into a land grabbing case.

But Roble hit back, accusing Farmajo of attempting “to take over the office of the prime minister by force (in) a move violating the constitution and the law of the country”.

“The prime minister… is committed to not being deterred by anyone in fulfilling his national duties in order to lead the country to elections that pave the way for peaceful power transfer,” said the statement released by Roble’s office.

Although reports spoke of a heightened military presence around the prime minister’s office, Roble was still able to enter the premises, a day after Farmajo withdrew his mandate to organise the elections and called for the creation of a new committee to “correct” the shortcomings.

The two men have traded accusations in recent days, with Roble alleging that Farmajo did not want to hold “a credible election”.

Farmajo in turn has accused Roble of trying to influence a probe into a scandal involving army-owned land after the premier sacked the defence minister and replaced him on Sunday.

“The prime minister has pressurised the minister of defence to divert the investigations of the case relating to the grabbed public land,” Monday’s statement by Farmajo’s office said.

 US ‘deeply concerned’

Somalia’s elections have been hamstrung by delays for several months.

In April, pro-government and opposition fighters opened fire in the streets of Mogadishu after Farmajo extended his term without holding fresh elections.

The constitutional crisis was only defused when Farmajo reversed the term extension and Roble brokered a timetable to a vote.

But in the months that followed, a bitter rivalry between the men derailed the election again, alarming international observers.

Farmajo and Roble only agreed to bury the hatchet in October, and issued a unified call for the glacial election process to accelerate.

Elections follow a complex indirect model, with almost 30,000 clan delegates assigned to choose the 275 MPs for the lower house and five state legislatures electing senators for the upper house.

Once elected and sworn in, both houses of parliament then vote for the next president.

Elections for the upper house have concluded in all states and voting for the lower house began in early November.

But the appointment of a president still appears to be a long way off, straining ties with Western allies who want to see the process reach a peaceful conclusion.

On Sunday, the United States said it was “deeply concerned by the continuing delays and by the procedural irregularities that have undermined the credibility of the process”.

Analysts say the election impasse has distracted from Somalia’s larger problems, most notably the Al-Shabaab insurgency.

The Al-Qaeda allies were driven out of Mogadishu a decade ago but retain control of swathes of countryside and continue to stage deadly attacks in the capital and elsewhere.

AFP